Flat back of the relief
© J. Muñiz   CC-BY-NC-ND


Only one flat-backed relief has been conserved from the original altarpiece today. However, the vertical relief is quite large and stands almost a metre high. Its height, in fact, is what almost certainly would have made it the centre piece of a Passion altarpiece in which it would have occupied the place of a Calvary relief, the preferred reliefs for occupying centre positions on altarpieces. Though this is rather unusual, other examples of this do exist, such as, for example, the Vielsam Descent From the Cross. Given its chronology and stylistic links with other pieces manufactured in Brussels mid-XV century, the most likely shape of the altarpiece would have been the inverted "T" that was so prominently chosen in this context. This would mean that it was originally accompanied and indeed framed by other, smaller scenes illustrating the Passion cycle. All the figures would have been protected by canopies, probably polygonal in shape, rather similar in style to those on the altarpieces in Covarrubias and Lekeitio. The altarpiece would also probably have had a decorated base at its foot and painted wing panels.